No place for tobacco: The Union supports smokefree sports
In addition to killing five million people per year, tobacco use impairs physical performance and has no place in sporting culture or at sporting events. The Union has supported tobacco-free sporting mega-events around the world since the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.
It also offers a free guide to Tobacco-free Sports that outlines the key policy elements of an effective and efficient tobacco-free sporting event.
Recent activities of The Union and its partners:
Tobacco control at Euro2012
UEFA (the Union of European Football Associations) ruled that the 2012 European Football Championship (Euro 2012) in Poland and Ukraine would be tobacco-free. Union-grantees The Chief Sanitary Inspectorate, MANKO Association and the Polish Society for Health Programs (PSHP) trained local tobacco control coalitions in the four match cities to monitor violations in the UEFA stadiums and in other public places, protected under the national tobacco act which bans tobacco promotion and establishes smokefree areas. During the competition, MANKO and PSHP reported several violations of the national law: British American Tobacco was conducting promotional activities, including free giveaways, in and around several Euro2012 venues.
Union-grantees also used the Euro2012 competition to promote smokefree legislation more widely, not only in the four competition cities, but also in other Polish cities that had set up outdoor 'fun zones' for locals to follow the matches. The Chief Sanitary Inspectorate launched a health promotion campaign under the slogan 'Cheer your health' that provided information on smokefree legislation and advice on tobacco, alcohol, drugs and sexual health to the attending public.
Smokefree Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics
Looking forward, The Union is supporting the city of Sochi in Russia – the venue for the XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014 – to host a tobacco-free event. Sochi 2014 has committed to making both the Winter Olympics and the Winter Paralympics smokefree. The Union is sharing its international experience in smokefree sports with national and regional partners working in Sochi.
Successful sporting events have a lasting impact:
The Union's current projects in China build on the success achieved in Beijing during the 2008 Summer Olympics, where the 40 Olympic venues were tobacco-free and smokefree policies were well supported. The success of the Games has continued to motivate the implementation of wider tobacco control policy in China.South-East Asia
: The Union also provided support for a smokefree Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in 2011 and smokefree Southeast Asian Games in Laos in 2009 and Indonesia in 2011. In each of these countries, the success of a high-profile tobacco-free sporting event has contributed to public awareness of the dangers of tobacco use and built greater support for smokefree policies in other areas.